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SDL/Windows

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1 How to install SDL2 on a Windows computer

Note: when you are using GHC 7.10.2 or earlier, using SDL2 will not be possible; you will get the following message when trying to install a package:

<command line>: can't load .so/.DLL for: mingw32.dll (addDLL: could not load DLL)

See GHC ticket 3242

You have to install the C package SDL2 first, then either the Haskell package SDL2 or hsSDL2

1.1 The C package

Download the precompiled SDL2 package and unzip it to e.g. C:\Libraries

If you want to compile from source, you will need

* pkg-config.exe
* Mingw-w64
* MSYS

If you are using SDL 2.0.3, install the debugged version of SDL_platform.h in the include directory.

Use the following settings

Set LIBRARY_DIR=C:\Libs\SDL2-2.0.3\i686-w64-mingw32
Set PATH=%LIBRARY_DIR%\bin;%PATH%
Set LIBRARY_PATH=%LIBRARY_DIR%\bin;C:\Programs\MinGW\lib;%LIBRARY_PATH%
Set C_INCLUDE_PATH=%LIBRARY_DIR%\include\SDL2;%LIBRARY_DIR%\include
Set PKG_CONFIG_PATH=%LIBRARY_DIR%\lib\pkgconfig;%PKG_CONFIG_PATH%
Set PKG_CONFIG_PATH=C:\Programs\GTK\lib\pkgconfig\;%PKG_CONFIG_PATH%


1.2 The Haskell package SDL2

cabal install sdl2


1.3 The Haskell package hsSDL2

Download and unpack the SDL2 development libraries (the .tar.gz files with mingw in the name) from:

Copy the bin, lib, include and share directories from the packages to a common directory, like C:\Libraries. If you downloaded SDL 2.0.3, replace the header file include/SDL_platform.h with the debugged version

Set environment variables like this:

  • To help consistency in the environment variables, we first do:
 Set LIBRARY_DIR=C:\Libraries
  • then:
 Set PATH=%LIBRARY_DIR%\bin;%PATH%
 Set LIBRARY_PATH=%LIBRARY_DIR%\lib
 Set C_INCLUDE_PATH=%LIBRARY_DIR%\include\SDL2;%LIBRARY_DIR%\include

If you don't have git yet, install it. Go to a directory where you want the Haskell library source code installed and fetch the Haskell libraries:

 git clone https://github.com/Lemmih/hsSDL2
 git clone https://github.com/jdeseno/hs-sdl2-image
 git clone https://github.com/osa1/hsSDL2-ttf
 git clone https://github.com/jdeseno/hs-sdl2-mixer

If you want to use a cabal sandbox:

 cabal sandbox init

Install the Haskell packages:

 cabal install .\hsSDL2
 cabal install .\hs-sdl2-image
 cabal install .\hsSDL2-ttf
 cabal install .\hs-sdl2-mixer


If you get any of the messages:

 cabal: Missing dependency on a foreign library:
 * Missing (or bad) header file: SDL_mixer.h
 configure: error: *** SDL not found! Get SDL from www.libsdl.org.

you should check if all installation steps were done properly.